This is…. well, I mean, this is amazing. There have been Doctor Who video games before, from Dalek Attack (imagine the first Duke Nukem game, starring Sylvester McCoy) to Destiny of the Doctors (imagine Myst, but awful and with Anthony Ainley laughing at you a lot) to a myriad of text adventures that were mostly available in England (i.e. “your sword sonic screwdriver is glowing with a faint blue glow.”) No one’s attempted to make a Doctor Who game based on the new series, however, which is surprising, given its popularity. That is…. UNTIL NOW!
Also, the games will be free, which is pretty amazing considering the obvious quality of the graphics. The BBC, as a publically funded UK institution, has a policy of not authorizing supplemental material that one would have to buy in order to follow the plot of their shows (which is why, for instance, no one could ever publish a book about the Time War, or make a cinematically released movie that people would have to pay to see in order to explain certain plot points – in other words, the BBC could never have made The X Files movie.) As these games are being presented to us as episodes in their own right, and are at least supplemental to the season as a whole, they’re being released free of charge.
I’m looking forward to playing them, provided the sad little graphics chip on my sad little laptop can handle the strain – I can play Portal, for instance, but the ground disappears sometimes and some levels are all flashy and weird (blah blah blah shading blah blah rendering blah). Ooh, and hey look there’s Cybermen!
They’re presenting these to us as “interactive episodes”, so yeah, I’m going to try and review them as they come out. We should expect the first one in June.